Volleyball swept by Dayton, fall to 6th place in Atlantic-10 standings


A ninth double-double this season for senior outside hitter Danielle Rygelski was not enough, as SLU fell three sets to none against the Dayton Flyers, at home at Chaifetz Pavilion, on Saturday, Oct. 1. The loss was the first in SLU’s Atlantic 10 matches this season, and it brought the Billikens to a 7-11 overall record, although that record includes a now 2-1 conference mark.

The double-double for Rygelski came behind 17 kills and 11 digs, showing her offensive and defensive prowess. Her outstanding performances began in the first set, as she recorded six kills and five digs. However, despite her dominance, SLU still lost the first set by 7 points, 25-18.

The second set went a little better for the Billikens, who had a strong defensive effort at the net. SLU had four blocks in the set, with three of them coming from sophomore outside hitter Monica Loftus. However, the stout defense was not enough for the Billikens, and the Flyers took the second set 25-20 to open up a commanding 2-0 lead.

After the break, the Billikens once again improved incrementally from their performances in the first two sets. However, the Billikens still could not pull out a victory, and fell 25-22 in the third set to fall to a 3-0 sweep to the Flyers. The loss in the set came despite Rygelski’s seven third-set kills.

Overall, Loftus had one of her strongest games on record, with six kills and six blocks in the match. The six blocks equal SLU’s season-best for blocks in a match. In addition, her six kills came on only 10 attempts, and she committed only one error. This led her to a .500 attack percentage in the match. Overall, blocks proved to be a strength for the Billikens as a team, as SLU out-blocked Dayton 8.5 to 7.5.

Coming up next for the Billikens will be more Atlantic 10 conference matchups. Saint Louis will take on a pair of Rams next, Fordham on Friday, Oct. 7 and Rhode Island on Saturday, Oct. 8. Both will be away games, so the Billikens will travel to Bronx, N.Y. for the Fordham match and to Kingston, R.I. for the Rhode Island match.

Despite the loss to Dayton, SLU is still positioned well to make an impact in the conference championships. Dayton has moved ahead in the Atlantic 10, but with the majority of the conference matchups left to play, first place is still winnable for SLU. However, importantly, SLU’s 2-1 record puts them at sixth place in the conference, which would still be good enough to make the Atlantic 10 Championship tournament.

Considering that the conference tournament will be held here at Chaifetz Pavilion, SLU will want to quickly rebound from their sweep against Dayton in order to climb up the standings.

Ahead of SLU are several teams also vying for a good postseason seeding. VCU is also 2-1, but ahead of SLU  in fifth place due to their 11-8 overall record. Duquesne is in third place and Fordham is in fourth place, both with 3-1 records. Dayton is in second place with a 3-0 record, and Rhode Island tops the table with a perfect 4-0 record so far. Rhode Island will prove to be a tough test for the Billikens in Kingston.

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